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MFA Student José Drummond’s work at “The Vision Of Asia” in Nanjing AMNUA


MFA Student José Drummond’s work at “The Vision Of Asia” in Nanjing AMNUA

José Drummond, beau b baco, Liao Chi-Yu, Xing Danwen and Peng Yun invited as artists/curators to be part of “The Vision of Asia”, an international video art forum that took place in Nanjing Art Museum AMNUA between 17 and 20 of December of 2015. The forum was completed with an exhibition that was open till the 5th of January 2016.


Drummond’s presentation focused on a specific aspect and sensibility. I Think I Made You Up Inside My Head, after a Sylvia Plath verse, is a screening sequence of moving images that collects the narratives of 5 artists – 4 women and 1 man – working on the subject of the situation of human existence regarding the position of the woman. These unsettling works reframe the acts of seeing in order to bring the unwelcomed or disregarded into the mind of the spectator. The often-idealized representations of women don’t fall into this selection that leads the audience to the impulse of directing the gaze towards the human side where sensibility, fantasy, emotion, displacement, pain and loneliness draw attention to the vulnerable, the fragile and the supposedly imperfect life. These feelings are not exposed; it is for the viewer to grasp them. This sequence makes a proposal on the way we see things emphasizing the permeability of human soul and its susceptibility to scratches, punctures, and tears. Deceptive memories and existential viruses are everywhere. “I think I made you up inside my head.”

The presentation included works by beau b baco – an artist from Philippines that lives in New York, Liao Chi-Yu – an artist from Taiwan, Peng Yun – an artist originally from Sichuan living in Macau, Xing Danwen – an artist from Xian living in Beijing and José Drummond – an artist from Portugal living in Macau.

beau b baco


beau b baco, “In Residence Series #3″, 11’20”, 2015

beau b baco’s “In Residence Series #3” provides a statement on her life situation as an immigrant in New York exploring the limits of documentary and poetic performance with a refined interpretation of the cultural stereotypes of the place where she is. How to speak about emotions of displacement? How to be accepted in a foreign place? Far from being contemplative and dealing with existentialist disappointment this work does not claim only a specific identity as it points to how insignificant we became.


beau b baco, “In Residence Series #3″, 11’20”, 2015

Liao Chi-Yu

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Liao Chi-Yu, “Picnic”, 8’58”, 2013

“Picnic” and “Lydia, Elena, Hina”, the works of Liao Chi-Yu, explore the nature of mutation and the capacity of humans to relate to change. Drawing on principles of painting tableaux the narratives of staged still life simulations evolve to imaginative organisms and rich imagery. The characters are lost in a unique fantasy between possible life recollections connecting history and mythology. It is for the viewer to look carefully, in anticipation, to the breeze and find himself coming up in the screen.


Liao Chi-Yu, “Lydia, Elena, Hina”, 8’18”, 2011

Peng Yun


Peng Yun, “The Sweet Life”, 3’08”, 2013

Peng Yun’s “Sara”, “The Sweet Life” and “Miss Melissa and Mr. Fish at 2:31pm” opens the artist world to the viewers to deliberately exercise the feelings of confusion, anxiety and a desire to be free. There is a level of transcendent beauty in these works that question life and loss. Suddenly, the viewer finds himself disarmed and engaged in a disconcertingly voyeuristic act, where what is shown calls us to the sublime desire of being, the desire of being something other, something different, something unique.


Peng Yun, “The Sweet Life”, 7’47”, 2013

Xing Danwen


Xing Danwen, “I Can’t Feel What I Feel”, 5’15”, 2012

Xing Danwen’s “I Can’t Feel What I Feel” speaks about things that one feels but can’t feel. Turned into a lab-rat of pain she becomes the lab-rat of herself. There is no melancholia on this raw display of deception where the woman is victim and perpetrator of her own feelings. The crescendo of the feelings that can’t be felt turns the viewer in a witness of agony. The question remains: which part of life is ours and which part is not if we can’t control our feelings?


Xing Danwen, “I Can’t Feel What I Feel”, 5’15”, 2012

José Drummond

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José Drummond, “I Am Not A Smile”, 8’11”, 2012

In “I Am Not A Smile” by José Drummond there is an intrigue or maybe a charade that point to the male character trapped in a defenseless position. The female character plays an intimate choreography of eyes, smile and hands that keeps him still – in a moment of wasted life. The idea of rapture, euphoria and heaven is a deliberate act that is in contrast with her real feelings of disjuncture and emotional fragmentation. The smile takes hostages and is a menacing musical pattern. 

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José Drummond is an artist living in Macau. He is the director of VAFA, international video art festival in Macau. He holds an MFA in Creative Practice Practice from Transart Institute in New York (USA) and University of Plymouth (UK). He exhibited in Macau, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Hungary and USA. He works mainly with Film/Video, Photography, Installation, Performance and Objects.


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